For a country with such a developed palette for fine gastronomy – wine, chocolate and cheese to name a few of the obvious examples – Switzerland is not particularly known for its coffee. In fact, we’ve often lamented the fact that at all of the cafés that we love here in Lausanne, coffee is a predictable low point in the experience. Unlike the up-and-coming artisanal beer scene (which you know we love), coffee roasting in the Confederation seems to be handled by a few, largely uninspiring brands. Needless to say, when we heard about Culture Café with its distinct mission to bring true coffee culture to Lausanne, we were intrigued to give it a try.

This little coffee shop is housed inside of the Fnac at the Tour Bel-Air – yes, you indeed read that correctly. Inside the Fnac. To get there, you’ll need to head to the lower level and make your way through the hordes of BD fans reading their favorite comic strips (…do you think these guys ever actually buy those books???). In case it isn’t immediately obvious to you, just look for and follow the signs.

The baristas at Culture Café are passionate about making good coffee and in case they aren’t pleased with the outcome of the cappuccino they’ve just made, they’re known to start all over again. They are in a process of testing and tasting and perfecting the art of coffee and are delighted to discuss their experience with you – be prepared for a vocabulary precise enough to describe a good Bordeaux; these guys take every cup very seriously. Each day there is just one coffee to test – why? Because the machine needs to be calibrated to accommodate the particularities of each blend.  We told you – they are not kidding around!

The café itself is slightly retro inspired with modern touches and a soothing dark blue on the walls – details you might otherwise overlook if it weren’t for the fact that it makes Culture Café the perfect place to work. Students and independents who need a quiet place to work for a few hours but who find next door’s Bubble Café a little too boisterous will absolutely love this spot! The wifi is reliable and large windows looking out onto the Flon bring in plenty of light. And in case you get hungry, the fresh baked pastries are fantastic as well.

Tell us your thoughts on the coffee that you’ve tried in Lausanne – have we missed any other cafés trying to give serious coffee a go?

Culture Café
Rue de Genève 6


  1. I'm so happy that fnac has another café, after the last one closed down a few years ago. We loved that café and I'm sure we'll be visiting this one very often now. My kids love the bookstore they have downstairs and then we can head here for our 4 o'clock " goûter "

  2. Thank you for letting us know about this new café in Lausanne. My only regret is that it is inside the Fnac (really!?) It is true that Lausanne has a particularly poor coffee culture. Let's hope that there will be lots of new ventures in the future. My dream is to find a cosy place like in London, Amsterdam or Stockholm where you can sit down, read the paper and enjoy a GOOD cup of coffee

  3. Meta, this place is GREAT with kids. But it's still quiet enough that people can work – it's hard to find a balance like that in Lausanne! Hope we run into you there soon :).

  4. We had exactly the same reaction when we heard that it was in Fnac – we almost passed it up completely. But you'll be surprised – it really doesn't feel corporate or sterile (aside from the large Fnac sign on the wall ;)). And hang in there because we hear that there are some new coffee-centered cafés coming to town! We'll keep you posted, of course.

  5. "coffee roasting in the Confederation seems to be handled by a few, largely uninspiring brands". Pretty overbearing. Do you know theses roasters: Kaffischmitte, Black and Blaze, Kaffeepur, boral roasters, caffee-mondiale, Gipfelstürmer, Henauer, Stoll, Blazer, Rast. Fresh coffee, bohnenblühn… All of them roast modern speciality coffee and encourage coffee culture.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.